Saudi Arabia’s Riyad Bank Plans USD Sukuk Issuance; Hires banks

Saudi USD sukuk

Riyad Bank, Saudi Arabia’s fourth-largest bank, has announced that it has employed international and regional banks for potential issuance of a dollar-denominated Sukuk.

The announcement that was made through a stock exchange filing today, says the bank has hired JPMorgan, Riyad Capital, Standard Chartered, First Abu Dhabi Bank and HSBC to lead the deal.

The first debt issuance under the bank’s maximum US$3 billion programme to issue primary and secondary bonds, the size of tier 2 Sukuk issuance “will be determined in accordance with market conditions,” according to the filing.

On Monday, Fitch Ratings assigned the trust certificate issuance programme – housed under Riyad Sukuk Limited (RSL) –  ‘BBB+(EXP)’/’F2(EXP)’ ratings. According to the ratings agency, the ratings are “in line with Riyad’s Long- and Short-Term Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of ‘BBB+’ and ‘F2’, respectively. The IDRs of Riyad are driven by its standalone creditworthiness, as reflected by its ‘bbb+’ Viability Rating (VR), and also underpinned by a high probability of support from the Saudi authorities, if needed,” the statement from Fitch said.

The potential debt sale is part of the bank’s purpose to diversify sources of finance and strengthen its capital base, said the bank filing. The bank in January reported a phenomenal rise in full-year profit due to a higher operating income and a rise in total revenue from special commissions. Full-year net profit for the period ending December 31, 2019 climbed to 5.60 billion riyals (Dh5.48bn) while operating income for the full-year rose to 10.72bn riyals, a 19.5 per cent rise from the year-earlier period.

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